British Universities Film & Video Council

moving image and sound, knowledge and access

History of Animation in Court Series

A continuing series of video podcasts of some of the computer animations that have been used in USA courtrooms over the last 20 years. Z-Axis Corporation was a pioneer in the creation of animated trial exhibits in the late 1980s and has continued to develop new ways to present visual information to judges and juries. This collection includes some of the landmark cases to use computer animation over the years as well as other less famous, but still innovative and interesting applications of computer graphics. Organized by the categories: aviation, insurance, bio-medical, construction, presentation-design. The podcasts are excerpts from the original animations, with the addition of Z-Axis’s new explanatory voiceover. This is done because the animations used in trial are often quite long and usually have no audio track to explain what’s going on as in court they are accompanied by the live testimony of an expert witness. The soundtracks also give some explanation of the animations and their significance both to the trial and to the history of animation in court.

Examples from the series incloude: some of the 3D animation and interactive exhibits created for the United States Department of Justice in its recent, ground breaking case against the tobacco industry. Z-Axis worked closely with the trial team from the DOJ and 25 expert witnesses to create a wide variety of animated exhibits including 3D animations of how nicotine is ingested and transported to the brain, along with large numbers of interactive data-display animations and still graphics; 4 sections of the presentation given to students on the Evidence and Trial Practice course at the University of Colorado Law School on 25/10/2006 showing and describing the entire World Trade Center trial presentation.
Great Britain
Year of release
Year of production
Information technology; Law
computer animation; computer graphics; legal evidence

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Gary Freed; Ray Hauschel; Steve Brosius



Z-Axis Corporation

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